Study Groups

The Cultural Study Group and 2023 IAG Conference attendees made a colourful quilt.  Credit: Natasha Pauli.

The Cultural Study Group and 2023 IAG Conference attendees made a colourful quilt. 
Credit: Natasha Pauli. 

Study Groups of the Institute of Australian Geographers achieve the following objectives:

  1. promote the scholarly development and impact of a diverse range of geographical sub-disciplines and fields in Australia;
  2. foster collegial, productive, diverse and self-governing communities of practice within the IAG;
  3. host events and activities that realise high-quality and innovative research, education and engagement outcomes, foster career development and build collaborations with cognate disciplines and professions;
  4. advance the reputation of Australian geography nationally and internationally;
  5. attract and retaining financial IAG members by adding value to IAG membership; and
  6. contribute to the intellectual and logistical success of the IAG’s annual conference.

IAG members are encouraged to join one or more of the Study Groups supported by the IAG. IAG Members are eligible to join up to three (3) Study Groups and to participate in IAG-funded study group events. The selection of these Study Groups is part of the member sign-up or renewal process.
Each group has a Convenor or Co-Convenors. Members holding these roles co-ordinate and ‘drive’ the research agenda of the groups. Becoming a Convenor is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the discipline of geography and to help the IAG achieve its goals and objectives.
Study Group portals are IAG Members' access only.

Current Study Groups include:

  • Critical Development Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Professor Daniel Robinson (Co-Convenor):; Nadia Degregori (Co-Convenor):
    We are interested in how development is understood and experienced. Our purpose is to establish Australia as the leading destination for development geography researchers and practitioners through the advancement of geographical knowledge and practical innovations in the field. We do this by supporting collaboration and networking amongst our group members.
    Critical Development Study Group (member portal)
  • Cultural Geography Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Kaya Barry (Co-Convenor):; Melina Ey (Co-Convenor):;
    Elizabeth Straughan (Co-Convenor):
    The Cultural Geography Study Group warmly welcomes people across human geography and related disciplines who are interested in considering ways that cultural factors come to bear through social, political, environmental, and economic entanglements with space and place. Established for over 30 years, the Cultural Geography Study Group hosts a range of annual events and workshop activities, and is particularly keen to foster and facilitate collaborative and inclusive opportunities for members across all career stages, including post-graduate researchers and those working outside of the academy.
    Cultural Geography Study Group (member portal)
  • Economic Geography Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Kirsten Martinus (Co-Convenor):; Andrew Warren (Co-Convenor):
    The Economic Geography Study Group is concerned specifically with economic geography in the unique Antipodean context. Focussing on the Indo-Pacific and Oceania, our activities include annual meetings, workshops and special issues. We see economic geography as encompassing the concepts and preoccupations of a broad heterodox economics overlapped with geographic understandings of the intersection of place, space and environment at various temporal and geographic scales.
    Economic Geography Study Group (member portal)
  • Geographies of Children and Young People Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Catherine Rita Volpe (Johnston) (Co-Convenor):; Harriot Beazley (Co-Convenor):
    Children and young people's geographies is a recognised sub-discipline of geography with several journals focusing on these age groups. The focus of this Study Group is to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard, understood, and recognised as important and relevant across many topics in geographical research. The Study Group aims to put the voices of children and young people at the forefront of research and in discussions at the IAG conferences.
    Geographies of Children and Young People Study Group (member portal)
  • GIScience, Spatial Analysis and Modelling Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Bruce Doran (Convenor):
    The GIScience, Spatial Analysis and Modelling Study Group aims to promote GIS research by sponsoring sessions at IAG Conferences and Specialist Workshops. They have sponsored and run a series of successful meetings that has provided the only opportunity for many postgraduate researchers to interact directly with leading international experts in the field. As a group, they contribute to developing the understanding of applications of GIS to thinking and tackling real-world spatial problems, and continue to promote activities required to improve the teaching of GIS, Spatial Analysis and Modelling.
    GIScience, Spatial Analysis and Modelling Study Group (member portal)
  • Health Geography Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Ivan Hanigan (Convenor); Neil Coffee:; Clive Sabel, Jesse Whitehead, Thomas Astell-Burt, Danielle Taylor and Bryan Boruff
    Health Geography, the study of place and space and health, is a growing area of multidisciplinary research with researchers from diverse areas such as epidemiology, medicine, town planning, transport planning, population/public health, GIS and geography (to list a few). This is a group of students, researchers, and professionals working in this intersection of place and health.
    Health Geography Study Group (member portal)
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Miri (Margaret) Raven (Convenor); Francis Markham:
    The study group undertakes various activities centred on facilitating Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaboration during the annual IAG conference, and supporting ongoing fellowship afterwards. This includes identifying and sponsoring Indigenous leaders and/or academics as plenary speakers and as panel members at the study group’s annual workshop, which usually takes place the day before the conference.
    Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights Study Group (member portal)
  • Legal Geography Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: John Carr (Co-Convenor):; Meg Sherval (Co-Convenor):
    We are a group of scholars interested in how the law and geography intersect. Our backgrounds are multidisciplinary in nature, but we are united in our concerns about how our world is governed, regulated and used as the lines between private and public ownership and management of land, water and resources become blurred. In a climate changing world, where issues around social justice, equity and transition loom large, we seek to understand, critique and influence decision-making, policy and practice to ensure that the spaces and places that we occupy are just, transparent and legally aware.
    Legal Geography Study Group (member portal)
  • Political Geography Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Andrew Burridge (Co-Convenor):; Marilu Melo Zurita (Co-Convenor):;
    Ari Jerrems (Co-Convenor):
    Political Geography is concerned with the connections between power, politics, sovereignty, territory, and space, and the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes. The Study Group aims to address areas of interest both traditional to, and newly emerging within, the sub-discipline. It seeks to engage and support higher degree and early career scholars, as well as those that have previously been underrepresented in this field.
    Political Geography Study Group (member portal)
  • Rural Geography Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Sonia Graham:; Rebecca Cross:
    The Rural Geography Study Group is interested in all things regional, rural and remote. Our members’ work critically examines environmental change and management, agriculture, food and mining, Indigenous ruralities, health and social dynamics, rural development and governance, and rural values, lifestyles and identities. We are interested in relationships and networks of people, land, land use, landscapes and Country, and the many pathways towards a revitalised, regenerative and inclusive rurality.
    Rural Geography Study Group (member portal)
  • Urban Geography Study Group
    Current Office-bearers: Alistair Sisson:; Naama Blatman:; David Kelly:
    Urban Geography is a field that is broadly concerned with cities and their interconnections. Our members study a variety urban themes including: urban planning, urban policy, urban politics, urban theory and theories of urbanism, urban cultures and spaces, activism, cultural heritage, urban publics, housing, settler-colonial cities, transport, urban design, urban infrastructures, social and environmental justice, urban economics, neoliberalism, urban governance, urban ecology, urban greening, urban analytics and spatial science, urban development, place-making, urban futures and Aboriginal cities. 
    Urban Geography Study Group (member portal)

About IAG Study Groups:

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